The Brock Women’s soccer team had a successful Homecoming weekend that saw them dominate the Algoma Thunderbirds by a total of 13-0 over two games. First year Physical Education major Melanie Schouten was a major force in both games as she racked up four goals on six shots, including a hat trick in Saturday’s 6-0 game.
Schouten is from Newmarket, Ontario where she attended Stouffville District Secondary School. Throughout her high school career she racked up awards such as Athlete of the Year, Most Valuable Player for soccer for three years in a row, as well as the Sportsmanship award in 2016. She began playing soccer at the age of four, and started playing travel soccer when she was eight.
The Badgers are thrilled to be bringing in a talent such as Schouten, and she is just as thrilled about becoming a part of Brock Sports and the Brock women’s soccer team. She was influenced to attend Brock by one of her favourite high school teachers.
“I knew one of my favourite teachers came here and did the Phys Ed program,” said Schouten. “She just spoke so highly about [Brock]”.
While in high school, Schouten was a dual sport athlete. She played both volleyball and soccer competitively, and had to make the tough decision about which sport to focus on. Choosing soccer over volleyball was not an easy choice.
“In grade 11 I chose soccer and it was a really difficult decision for me because I just love the game of volleyball,” said Schouten. “I think I was a stronger soccer player; also I was too short to play volleyball.”
Schouten’s biggest role model is her older sister, Sarah.
“She plays university soccer as well, at Nipissing,” said Schouten. “[She’s] one of my best friends.”
Academically, Schouten plans on attending teacher’s college when she finishes her undergraduate degree in Physical Education. Her goal is to finish her undergraduate degree and teacher’s college in less than seven years so that she can begin her teaching career as soon as possible. Her decision to become a teacher is influenced by her love for kids.
Although Schouten claims to not have any hidden talents or crazy hobbies, teammate Alysha Bonany was quick to remind her of one of her funnier hobbies.
“If someone says a lyric from a song, but they didn’t mean to, I’ll just start singing the entire song.” explained Schouten.
The humour that Schouten brings with her everyday can definitely help build chemistry between the women on the team.
Schouten’s on field performances are not the only thing that is making her stand out. Charles Ivanov, head coach of the women’s soccer team, is impressed with the first year midfielder so far.
“[Melanie] has earned the respect of the girls, the coaching staff and game minutes through great personality and work ethic, complemented with skill and perseverance to do better in training and in games.” said Ivanov.
Ivanov explains that Schouten is willing to make sacrifices for the better of the team as a whole.
“Her attitude is ‘what is best for the team, coach?’,” said Ivanov. “Sacrificing [your] own interest for the sake of the team is what helps young people reach high in life.”
As Brock prepares to finish the season, they will rely on not only veteran players, but also the heavy mix of first year players that the team has this year. With eight games still remaining in the season, Brock is only one victory away from duplicating their record from 2015.
Nick Brayford, Sports Editor